Arts & Entertainment
The Morgan County High School Bulldog bands presented a concert for the community on May 2nd. The weather prevented the concert from being held in Town Park, but the venue was moved to the high school's new gym instead.
Printed in the May 16, 2013 edition.
Despite rainy weather, tour of homes and gardens brings in 900+ visitors
By Stephanie Johns
The Madison in May Spring Tour of Homes & Gardens drew almost 1,000 visitors this year, according to Ruth Bracewell, director of the Madison-Morgan Cultural Center (MMCC).
The tour not only included people from Georgia and the South, it also had people from Colorado, Utah, Pennsylvania, New York, Australia, Germany, and Italy.
“These people are going to remember Madison,” she said, speaking of the international tour-goers. “The tour added to their enjoyment and builds our reputation around the world.”
Bracewell said she was “pleased and surprised” by the number of people who toured on Saturday in the rain.
“Some bought tickets in advance but there were walk-ups, too,” she said, noting that they came prepared with raincoats and boots.
Bracewell credited the co-chairs Steve and Sue Jones and Brad and Deneice Rice with the success of the event.
“These four people supervised a wonderful steering committee and volunteers,” she said. “And we couldn’t do it at all without the wonderful homeowners.”
Bracewell said the money raised will be very helpful to MMCC and the programs it offers throughout the year.
Not only does it help with the free programs, it also supplements ticket costs that don’t always cover the entire cost of the program. Bracewell added that the funds also will be used to help maintain the historic building MMCC calls home.
Printed in the May 9, 2013 edition.
MadisonFest draws about 2,000 people
story by stephanie johns
photos by jesse walker
About 2,000 people showed up for the 16th annual Madison Fest in Town Park held last Saturday, according to Main Street Director Ann Huff.
“It got busy when it opened and it stayed busy all day,” she said.
She added that the weather – cooler temperatures and not a drop of rain – was perfect: “Mother nature helped us out this year.”
“It was hot last year,” she said, adding that the number of visitors last year dwindled as the temperature rose. “This year, people were there steady all day.”
The event focused on gardening and landscaping, with a “perfect” mixture of vendors, demonstrations, and lectures, she said.
Huff said they had great vendors, some of whom already have contacted her and signed on for next year’s event.
Visitors were able to grab a bite to eat and something to drink before settling in and listening to the live music.
“We finally have this perfect,” she said. “Everything inside the park is great.”
Part of what made it perfect: MadisonFest has found its niche.
“People are looking for this this time of year,” she said, adding that this is when people think about gardening and landscaping.
Printed in the May 2, 2013 edition.
Residents confront possibility that Buckhead Post Office hours could be reduced
story by stephanie johns
infographics by k. schiliro
The Buckhead Post Office may have its hours reduced following a survey and public meeting.
The survey was sent out to postal customers in the 30625 zip code and also handed out during the meeting held in front of that office last Thursday.
When Pam Soles, manager of Post Office Operations, informed those present that the post office was not going to close, the crowd of about 65 people responded with cheers.
“This is a nationwide thing,” she said. “Since May 2012 we have been looking at smaller communities.”
According to a letter sent to postal customers, “The Postal Service has established a review process for certain Post Offices known as the POST Plan.”
This plan, as Soles said, prompted the USPS to evaluate rural post offices.
Soles explained that revenue prompted the decision to be open fewer hours: “We save on cost with post master hours. Nationwide, it adds up. … We’re cutting work hours everywhere.”
Following survey results and comments made at the meeting, Soles said that a decision about hours of operation for Buckhead will be made and posted at the office within the next one to two weeks.
She added that about one month after the hours are posted they will go into effect.
As to losing Saturday delivery, she said that is on hold right now.
story by stephanie johns • photos by jesse walker
Cultural Center hosts first-ever storytelling festival, “do tell! stories under the bell tower,” last weekend
The Madison-Morgan Cultural Center (MMCC) held its first storytelling festival, “Do Tell! Stories under the Bell Tower,” last Saturday.
Ruth Bracewell, director at MMCC said the whole day went well: “We are excited about launching this new program.”
She said the program committee came up with the idea for the event.
“Storytelling is a popular art form,” she said, noting there is a national storytelling group.
Not only is it popular, Bracewell said it also is one of the oldest art forms in existence, “People were telling stories before they were writing them down.”
Guest storytellers for the event included Donald Davis, Carmen Agra Deedy, Andy Offutt Irwin, and mother-daughter duo Debbie Weston From and Hannah From.
Bracewell said that Davis was a former Methodist minister who left the pulpit after 20 years.
Cuba native Deedy wrote a book, 14 Cows for America, which was illustrated by Tom Gonzalez whose artwork currently is on exhibit at MMCC.
Irwin is “really funny,” according to Bracewell: “He does different sounds. A lot of storytellers are also musical.”
This holds true for the From duo as Hannah plays the banjo.
The day-long festival began with a family workshop titled “Tell Me a Story” featuring Deedy and the Froms.
“There were a lot of small children, parents, and grandparents,” she said. “It was very well attended.”
She added that some of the children got up and told stories.
Morgan County teenager Griffin Sorohan serving on Teen Driving Commission
story by stephanie johns
Griffin Sorohan, a sophomore at Morgan County High School (MCHS), and the other 21 participants in the Teen Driving Commission presented recommendations to improve highway safety to about 30 Georgia legislators in March.
“They heard us out,” he said. “We did it very professionally and we’re formed so well. There are a lot of good kids doing it and we’re headed by GOHS, which says something about us: we know what we’re talking about.”
Sorohan filled out an online application for the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS) Teen Driving Commission about half a year ago.